The summer season gives us a plethora of fresh herbs to brighten up our food (and our mood), awaken our taste buds, and nourish the body.
Everyone has a favorite, including me.
I must say in advance that I do love them all:
- And others…
But truth be told, fresh Basil is my favorite summer herb!
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) has an aroma that totally permeates the air. It’s so fragrant that it’s ridiculous!
Premier ethnobotanical researcher, Michael J. Balick says, “The genus name Ocimum is derived from the Greek ‘to smell,’ acknowledging the plant’s powerful aroma.”
I’ve personally had the experience of walking through my local farmer’s market and being completely taken by the aroma of fresh basil wafting through the air. The plant literally pulls me by my nose, to whatever farmer’s stand it’s on, to purchase it and put it into my recipes.
It’s an enchanting smell and definitely uplifting!
Basil, like many other culinary herbs, contains volatile aromatic oils.
This is especially important for someone suffering with a depressed tissue state, or a depressed mind.
According to herbalist Matthew Wood, “Throughout the world, fragrant plants are used to banish depressive, putrefactive, dead energy or bring in life-giving, spiritualizing influences. They quickly energize the lungs and open them up to life-giving oxygen, which this tissue state needs.”
So, if you’re feeling physically sloggy and depressed, and not enjoying any fun summer activities, get a little lift in your body, mind and spirit, by eating some fresh basil!
Follow your nose… it always knows.
Put this aromatic herb into everything.
It’ll brighten your recipes and your mood. I promise.
Here are a few of my fave recipes to get you moving and grooving in a happier and healthier direction:
- Aromatic Basil and Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad
- Cannellini Beans and Basil Salad
- Rice Pasta with Pesto
 Rodale’s 21st Century Herbal, Michael J. Balick, PhD, Rodale 2014, pgs. 215-16
 The Practice of Traditional Western Herbalism, Matthew Wood, North Atlantic Books, 2004, pg. 238
Andrea Beaman is an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker and Herbalist. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching people how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.